Isaiah 37

photography-weekend-breaks-scotland-kirkcudbright

You have camped about my City

My precious timeless City

You have sent your emissaries

To force the King to yield.

You have boasted of your power

And of other gods defeated

But this is your fateful hour

And I’ll drive you from the field.

In your violence and slaughter

You have terrified the masses

And your horsemen and your arrows

Are as swift as lightning’s stroke.

But I know your place of dwelling

And your coming and your going

And your braying ‘gainst Jehovah

Shall be proved a pointless joke.

Note: Let this be said of all oppressors and tormentors who come up against God’s community, God’s children of special favour. Grace has NOT taken away His sword of protection. In effect He says to the enemy “I know where you live”.

http://momentsmidstream.blogspot.ca/2009/05/are-you-far-off.html

http://momentsmidstream.blogspot.ca/2012/04/quietness-and-confidence.html

In Transition

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country road south of New Dundee, ON

Yesterday I was at a breakfast meeting for volunteers in chaplaincy at one of Kitchener’s seniors’ homes. Some new faces and some whom I have seen regularly over the last five years. Many denominations are in the mix for encouragement for our dignified old friends.

One attendee announced that his participation would be coming to an end effective June 2015. His small congregation in New Dundee is dismantling. I asked about plans for re-location of the flock. He had no definitive answer. In his upper fifties, perhaps over 60. The disappointment showed on his otherwise pleasant, affirming face.

There must be many questions. Did I do enough? Did I show them the way? Is this chastening or something worse? Do I have the energy to fire it up again? What about my denomination? Is the organized church becoming irrelevant to this impatient, over-stimulated society?

Of this I am sure. The Pastor knows Jesus and His compassionate heart. The man is a comfort and encouragemenrt to approach. God does not shake His children for unsubstantial reasons. The Loving Father is aware of every heartbeat and question. And let us not forget that wonderful image of the Good Shepherd in John 10:4…”he goeth before”.

http://flockatrest.blogspot.com/

Steel

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Many’s the thing that steels a man

Brings to the higher plain

Some of it breathing loveliness

Some of it washed in pain

Things that were not commendable

Things he would have erased

But they are each a messenger

Drawing to Jesus’ face.

Such is the man by Grace renewed

Such is God’s “normal” heart

Deaf to the words of fashion’s craze

Set from the world apart.

And he will wonder of a time

Which is the wiser track

‘Til in some prayerful niche sublime

Jesus will call him back.

Back to embrace the One True Friend

Pearl of great price revealed

Pathways beneath His noble gaze

Leave the saint strong and “steeled”.

 

(Matthew 13: 44-46)

Final Post-Lord is it Mine (Orchestra version) performed by Roger Hodgson

This will be my final post, thank you Doug for all your kindnesses.

http://youtu.be/R-C2bHm2yr4

For Doug and Hilary to take along in heart on the next scenic outing, all my love God Bless.

http://salvoesinfaith.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/on-a-branch/

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(lyrics)

I know that there’s a reason why I need to be alone
You’ve shown me there’s a silent place that I can call my own
Is it mine, oh Lord, is it mine?

You know I get so weary from the battles in this life
And as many times it seems that you’re the only hope in sight
Is it mine, oh Lord, is it mine?

When everything’s dark
And nothing seems right
There’s nothing to win
And there’s no need to fight

I never cease to wonder at the cruelty of this land
But it seems a time of sadness is a time to understand
Is it mine, oh Lord, is it mine?

When everything’s dark
And nothing seems right
You don’t have to win
And there’s no need to fight

If only I could find a way to feel your sweetness through the day
The love that shines around me could be mine

So give us an answer, won’t you
We know what we have to do
There must be a thousand voices
Trying to get through.

(Roger Hodgson)

Anthony

The “To-Do List”

 

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In so many places in the New Covenant we are shown what to believe; the pegs upon which to hang resolutely our deepest hopes. Romans 10 says much about this.

But what to do?

The other day I was impressed with the commands of Matthew 25. Jesus is approaching His departure. Quite naturally He would want His last words to  His friends to have significant lasting impact. The setting is the Mount of Olives and all the disciples are present.

He gives three images:

1. A group of ten virgins await the night-time arrival of the bridegroom for a great celebration.

2. A departing King dispenses resources to three of His servants that they might occupy in His absence.

3. A King has returned to a throne of judgment to separate with grave finality those who have lived to please Him (sheep) from those who have not (goats).

We are still in that period of waiting for the Glorious Return. We are told here never to allow our sense of expectancy and readiness (lamp-oil) to run low. There have been talents invested in us that we are to put to profitable use in the agenda of the Kingdom. He knows our capabilities. It is the quality not quantity of our response that matters. There will be an accounting that will disclose the real leanings of the heart toward our Great Employer. Jesus reminds us of His “brethren” in need – the hungry, the thirsty, the poorly clothed, the awkward lonely stranger, the sick and the imprisoned. That is the list of mercy targets, just as in the days of His earth walk. That is where His family is to be found, ourselves included.

The list is clear. The opportunities come forth surprisingly. The Spirit of Christ within responds as in the age-old Gospel way.

 

(above image – the widow’s mite)